Until the 1970's Spain did not play a large role in the narrative of 20th century design. However, a renewed sense of vitality and freedom blossomed in Spain following the death of Franco, and in the city of Barcelona a new Spanish design movement emerged that would soon be recognized internationally. Many of Barcelona's regional designers made reference to the style of Antoni Gaudi, as well as to the avant garde heritage of painter Joan Miro. Others developed a more individual, modern and universally appealing style. Two of the most prominent of these architects and designers were Javier Mariscal and Jorge Pensi.
Jorge Pensi studied architecture in Buenos Aires. In 1977, he joined Alberto Lievore, Oriol Pibernat and Noberto Chaves in founding the design consultancy Grupo Berenguer. That same year, Pensi acquired Spanish citizenship and established a second design office with Lievore in Barcelona. The Barcelona studio designed exhibition stands for Perobell and the SIDI group in 1984.
During the 1980's Pensi was prolific in producing new designs for lighting and furniture and became widely known for his fluid, elegant chair designs. His cast-aluminum Toledo chair won numerous prizes in Europe, including the First Award Selection from SIDI, Silver Delta Awards from the Assoziazione del Diesegno Industriale and a Design-Auswal 90 Award from the Stuttgart Design Center. The Orfilia chair, designed for Thonet, and Pensi's Olympia lamp for B. Lux came to exemplify Spanish design during this decade.
In 1994, Pensi designed the exhibition Salon Internacionale de Diseno para el Habitat. One of Spain's leading designers today, Pensi has worked internationally as a design consultant and created furniture for a wide range of fine manufacturers. His work for Kron, one of the finest furniture manufacturers in the U.S., includes the dramatic Pensi Lounge Chair and Couch.